Maureen Dowd is a great writer and a biting satirist for the New York Times, and today her article about the popularity of Donald Trump was particularly good: http://tinyurl.com/opubvyn. However, this time, I think she failed to dig deep enough, and maybe it’s because the extra navel-gazing it would require on the part of many people would make ’em squirm.
From all indications, the “fed up” attitude that folks in America have is not just directed at a grid-locked political system, but towards the rampant political over-correctness that permeates our culture today. It’s a touchy subject, and possibly an older vs younger generational issue, but I think it’s a notable factor. Trump personifies this attitude, and it’s appealing to people from the far right all the way to just left of center on the political spectrum.
I would hazard a guess and say that most of the educated and open-minded people in the fat middle of that political bell curve don’t want to go back to the days of female bottom-pinching and gay jokes. I do suspect many of the rest, though, would like the freedom to not walk on egg shells when they’re trying to just be themselves and not hurting anyone (as they see it).
How else can we explain the swath of comments Trump has made that would have ended the career of any regular politician? He’s venting what a lot of people are feeling. He embodies their frustrations at many levels and gets away with avoiding most serious conversations about policy substance because he is a master salesman selling the sizzle, not the steak. All the good, bad and ugly of Trump is wrapped up in his no-nonsense celebrity personality, a packaging that defies attempts to demonize him for any one particular ingredient.
Problem is, life is not a movie and politics are a popularity contest. If everybody loves the clown, the clown wins and the people get what they deserve.